Sunday, February 5, 2017

Rangers beat Flames 4-3, Versteeg loses jersey, gets ejected

Although the New York Rangers weren't happy with every aspect of the game, they were glad to get a needed win at home.
Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast scored 3:12 apart in the middle of the third period to help the Rangers beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Sunday for their second victory in their last seven at Madison Square Garden.
"We're aware obviously of the record we've had here the past few weeks and it's something we want to improve," said New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 29 shots. "Obviously there's no better feeling than to win in front of your own fans. ... This is the place where you gain the most confidence when you win."
Michael Grabner had a goal and an assist, Rick Nash also scored and J.T. Miller had two assists to help the Rangers win for the fifth time in seven games overall and improve to 5-0-1 in their last six against Calgary.
"I don't think we had our `A' stuff, but we did a good job defending and not getting hurt by it," Rangers center Derek Stepan said.
Flames veteran Kris Versteeg got ejected after losing his jersey during a fight in the third period, and waved to jeering fans as he skated off.
Versteeg, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with Chicago and not known as a brawler, tangled with Pavel Buchnevich and got his jersey pulled over his head during the scrap. The 30-year-old forward was tossed because, by rule, his jersey hadn't been properly tied down.
The Flames, who practiced on an outdoor rink in Central Park on Saturday, had won three in a row.
Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, and Dougie Hamilton and Troy Brouwer also scored for the Flames. Brian Elliott finished with 28 saves and Mikael Backlund had two assists.
"I thought we deserved to get some points out of this building," Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. "These are the types of games that make you better and we were good tonight, we just didn't get the points."
The Rangers outlasted Calgary in a furious third period that began with the score tied at 1.
Kreider put the Rangers ahead 3-2 as he brought the puck up the left side and sent a shot from outside the left circle that deflected in off the skate of defenseman Dennis Wideman for his career high-tying 21st goal at 8:20.
Fast made it 4-2 with about 8 1/2 minutes left off a pass from Miller.
The Flames took advantage of a Rangers giveaway less than a minute later as Backlund fired a shot that deflected off Tkachuk past Lundqvist.
Grabner gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead at 1:54 of the third, taking a pass from Brady Skjei in the right circle and putting it into the top right corner for his 23rd.
Brouwer tied it at 4:40 as he got the deflection of Johnny Gaudreau's shot and put it past Lundqvist for his ninth.
Nash appeared to give the Rangers the lead in the final second of the second period, but it was waved off after a review showed the puck went in after the clock had expired.
After the Rangers outshot the Flames 15-13 in the opening period, the chances slowed down in the second.
"It was an awful period from both sides," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "In the third, I thought we executed better ... and we were able to get two points."
Hamilton gave the Flames a 1-0 lead on the power play when his shot from the point deflected off Rangers defenseman Nick Holden and past Lundqvist's glove side for his eighth at 6:59 of the first.
The Rangers tied it on their own power play less than two minutes later. Nash got a pass in front from Stepan in front and his second attempt went in for his 15th at 8:55. Ryan McDonagh also had an assist on the goal for his 200th career point.
New York scored on the man advantage for the second straight game after going 0 for 15 over their previous five.
NOTES: Gaudreau had an assist for the fourth straight game, giving him six points (one goal, five assists) in that stretch. ... The Flames fell to 5-1-0 this season when Hamilton scored a goal. ... Miller now has 18 points (seven goals and 11 assists) over his last 15 games. ... New York improved to 9-1-0 against the Pacific Division this season.
Flames: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in the finale of a three-game trip.
Rangers: Host Anaheim on Tuesday night in the second game of a stretch of four straight at home.

Draisaitl, Oilers beat Canadiens 1-0 in shootout

 Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid played his 100th NHL game on Sunday, and it was an eventful one.
McDavid was kept off the scoresheet, but he led all forwards with 20:43 of ice time and drew three penalties in the Oilers' 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Leon Draisaitl's shootout goal.
The 20-year-old McDavid also got booed at Bell Centre, starting in the first period when the sellout crowd of 21,288 got on him for what it felt was a dive when Shea Weber was called for what looked like a phantom trip in the neutral zone 8:40 into the game.
"I don't mind it at all," McDavid said of the booing. The talented forward was more upset with being thought of as a diver.
After the incident, Montreal's Andrew Shaw threw him to the ice, but there was no call on the encounter.
"It wasn't anything serious," McDavid said. "They might have already had a penalty coming up there. It's tough to call two on a play like that.
"I drew some penalties, which was good. A guy was getting on me a bit but it was definitely not diving. All three of those chances, I'm trying to make a play at the net and stuff ended up happening, but it was definitely not diving or anything like that."
McDavid, the first overall pick of the 2015 draft, has 108 career points and seems to be getting better with each game. He leads the NHL with 42 assists and 60 points.
"He's electrifying," teammate Milan Lucic said. "For a lot of reasons - his speed, skill, his ability to finish and pass. I kind of compare him to Cristiano Ronaldo, of hockey. It's been fun to play with him so far."
Cam Talbot had 22 saves as Edmonton (29-18-8) salvaged the finale of a three-game trip that included only one regulation goal for the Oilers.
The Canadiens (30-16-8) dropped to 1-3-1 in their last five games. The Atlantic Division leaders were coming off a 3-2 loss to Washington on Saturday.
McDavid had a breakaway in overtime, but he was denied by Al Montoya. Talbot also turned away a big drive for Shea Weber at the other end.
Montoya finished with 32 saves.
"He was unreal," Weber said. "He played one of his best games of the year for us and that's why we had a chance to win it."
After coming close early on when Alexei Emelin hit a cross bar, the Canadiens generated little on attack until picking up the pace in the third period.
The Oilers had a 30-20 shot advantage in regulation time and outshot Montreal 32-22 overall.
NOTES: Both teams were playing a third game in four days.
Oilers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Canadiens: Visit the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Grubauer shuts out Kings, Capitals chase Budaj in 5-0 win

Philipp Grubauer starts rarely enough that he doesn't want to show his face when he loses. He can show it plenty until his next chance.
Grubauer stopped a season-high 38 shots to shut out the Los Angeles Kings as the Washington Capitals ended Peter Budaj's shutout streak in a 5-0 rout Sunday. Washington snapped Los Angeles' winning streak at five and Budaj's shutout streak at 147:21 in winning its third game in a row.
Despite being outshot 38-20, the Capitals were opportunistic in shelling Budaj, limiting quality chances and relying on Grubauer to make the routine saves.
"He doesn't get in there all the time, but when he does he's just been really good," said Brett Connolly, who scored his 10th goal of the season. "There was a couple times we turned the puck over and they had a good chance in front and he was there to bail us out."
Grubauer denied Marian Gaborik from close range in the second period but didn't have to make too many 10-bell saves for his third shutout of the season. Coach Barry Trotz liked the team defense in front of Grubauer, who compared the new NHL-mandated slimmer goalie pants to "European skinny jeans."
"The guys did an amazing job keeping (shots) to the outside today," Grubauer said. "I don't think we gave up too many Grade-A chances."
The Kings did.
They left Lars EllerMarcus Johansson and Justin Williams wide open on their goals, and Connolly was in all alone on a semi-breakaway to score his. T.J. Oshie's goal popped the cap off Budaj's water bottle, sending water flying and adding insult to injury.
Budaj, who leads the NHL with seven shutouts, was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots in two periods. He had stopped all 39 shots in his past two starts, but this loss was more on the Kings' defensive miscues than their goaltender.
"When you don't manage the puck well and give them opportunities to score, they're going to score," defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "You give them a little space and they capitalize on that. That's the danger, and we gave them too much space."
Coach Darryl Sutter said no one wants to get into an All-Star Game against the Capitals because the Kings are "not in that class." When the Capitals are getting this kind of goaltending and depth of scoring, few teams in the league are.
Washington leads the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference by seven points and is five up on the Minnesota Wild in the Presidents' Trophy race that also comes with home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Trotz said the team isn't thinking about the standings but is focused on each game.
Good thing for the Capitals that with Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby and Grubauer, they have a goalie they can turn to each game who can steal points if needed.
"Both goalies are tremendous," captain Alex Ovechkin said. "I think we have best duo in the league. When Holts have a break, Grubi stepping up and show he can be tremendous as well."
NOTES: Jeff Zatkoff stopped four of five shots in relief of Budaj, allowing Williams' 18th goal of the season. ... Connolly has 10 goals in 39 games after scoring nine in 71 games for the Boston Bruins last season. ... Oshie's goal was the pending unrestricted free agent's 20th of the season. ... The Kings put C Jordan Nolan on injured reserve with a lower-body injury suffered Wednesday. ... Ovechkin was honored before the game for recording his 1,000th point last month. NHL senior vice president Jim Gregory presented him with a Tiffany crystal, while Capitals owner Ted Leonsis gave Ovechkin a gold stick. During the ceremony, Leonsis held up a cutout of Ovechkin's head that was given to all fans.
Kings: Travel to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday in their third stop on a four-game road trip.
Capitals: Look to make it four in a row when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, the teams' second meeting in just over two weeks.

Smith saves penalty shot, Coyotes beat Sharks in shootout

There's something about the San Jose Sharks that brings out the best in Mike Smith and the Arizona Coyotes.
Smith stopped Joe Pavelski in the third round of the shootout to preserve the Coyotes' 3-2 victory over the Sharks on Saturday night.
The Coyotes became the first team to beat the Sharks three times this season, improving to 3-0-1 against them.
"Mike Smith plays well against them. He's really played well," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "I think that's the biggest key, but it's a rivalry game and they're fun games to be involved in."
Smith made 38 saves, including six during a power play in overtime.
Brendan Perlini and Radim Vrbata scored in the tiebreaker for Arizona, and Logan Couture broke through for San Jose.
Shane Doan and Ryan White scored in regulation for the Coyotes, who snapped a two-game skid.
"The whole thing started with Smitty getting bumped and being down 5-on-3 for 2:06," Doan said. "Getting through that definitely creates a little emotion and got Smitty going."
Brendan Dillon and Couture scored and Martin Jones finished with 26 saves for the Sharks, who had won eight of nine.
"You have to make them pay on the power play and we didn't do that," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "You have to give Smith credit. He always plays well against us."
Following a scoreless first period, in which Arizona killed off the 5-on-3 penalty, Doan put the Coyotes ahead with a power-play goal midway through the second period.
Dillon scored his first goal of the season with 2:45 left in the second to tie it.
Couture punched in a puck on a rebound in front of the net to give the Sharks a 2-1 advantage early in the third period that lasted all of 26 seconds.
The go-ahead goal was set up when Mikkel Boedker blocked a clearing pass.
White scored an unassisted goal shortly after to tie the score again.
"That's a tough one to give up on the next shift," Couture said. "You never want to do that. Kind of kills the momentum for the team and drains the energy out of the building. It's something we don't want to continue."
The game remained tied through regulation thanks in part to some nice goaltending on both sides. One Sharks scoring opportunity late was swiped away in front of the net by Doan.
Doan did give the Sharks a power-play opportunity in overtime after tripping Tomas Hertl with 2:51 remaining.
"Shane took two bad penalties, but fortunately our PK came through," Tippett said. "The 5-on-3 kill in the first, and the one in overtime was huge."
Jones laid himself out to stop a Coyotes' scoring chance with 35 seconds remaining.
"That was a fantastic save. It got us a point," DeBoer said. "But a breakdown like that you can't happen so late."
NOTES: With the Coyotes scoring first, it snapped a nine-game streak in which the Sharks scored first. ... Doan scored his first goal in 17 games. ... White scored his third goal in seven games since returning from injury. ... The Sharks' Patrick Marleau has a six-game points streak. ... Couture has points in seven of his last eight games.
Coyotes: Host Montreal on Wednesday night.
Sharks: At Buffalo on Tuesday night in the opener of an East Coast trip.

Mikael Granlund gets first hat trick, Wild beat Canucks 6-3

 Mikael Granlund had family in attendance for his first career hat trick. In fact, his brother Markus had a stellar view of the whole thing.
Mikael Granlund got three goals against his younger brother's team, helping the Minnesota Wild beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Saturday night.
Granlund has the longest point streak of the season at 12 games, and on Saturday, he eclipsed his previous career highs in goals and points. He has 15 goals and 33 assists, and he's a big reason why the Wild sit atop the Western Conference standings with a 34-12-5 record.
"Well, a hat trick really doesn't happen too often," Mikael Granlund said. "I don't even remember if I've ever done that, so obviously it's fun, but I'm even more glad we got the win and we are on right path again."
As for playing against his kid brother, it obviously wasn't much of a distraction.
"I really try not to think about that," he said. "I think about it as a normal game, but obviously you know he is out there."
Mikko KoivuZach Parise and Mike Reilly also scored for the Western Conference-leading Wild, who bounced back after a 5-1 loss in Calgary on Wednesday. Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves.
Brandon Sutter had two goals and Bo Horvat also scored for the Canucks, who have lost three straight heading into a six-game road swing. Vancouver is five points back of the Flames for the final wild-card spot in the West.
Canucks goalie Ryan Miller made 33 saves.
In a tight-checking first period, the Wild broke through at 13:01 when Reilly blasted a shot from the faceoff circle that eluded Miller. It was Reilly's first of the season.
Jannik Hansen helped the Canucks respond by driving into the slot with three defenders on him before Sutter grabbed the loose puck and swatted it in. It was the first game back for Hansen, who had missed 17 games with a knee injury.
"It's a long time to sit out and be out of game action," Hansen said. "It's going to take a little bit."
With 24 seconds to go in the period, Mikael Granlund was left alone at the side of the Canucks' net and banged in an easy rebound to make it 2-1.
The Canucks had a power-play chance in the second, but just 11 seconds into the man advantage, Mikael Granlund stole the puck and wheeled down the ice to beat Miller short-handed.
Horvat cut the lead when he ripped a shot over Dubnyk's shoulder off a 2-on-1 to make it 3-2 at 8:36.
Parise tipped Jared Spurgeon's shot from the point 54 seconds later to restore the two-goal lead.
Before the second intermission, Mikael Granlund dished to Koivu for his 16th of the season, then Sutter smacked a rebound out of the air while on the power play for his second of the night to make it 5-3.
Mikael Granlund completed his hat trick midway through the third when Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen made an ill-fated clearing attempt in front of the net and it found its way back into Vancouver's goal.
"He's a pretty special player," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I've only seen him for 51 games. I don't know where he was in the past. I know he was a good player in the past, but his numbers weren't quit what they are now. Boy he can make plays. He skates, he defends. I can't say enough about him."
NOTES: The Canucks held a pre-game ceremony to honor captain Henrik Sedin and his recent 1,000th NHL point. ... Wild forward Alex Tuch made his NHL debut playing on Minnesota's top line. He was called up Thursday from the AHL.
Wild: Play at Winnipeg on Tuesday night.
Canucks: Play at Nashville on Tuesday night.

Van Riemsdyk scores late, Blackhawks beat Stars 5-3

 In a period that included goals from stars Patrick KaneJonathan ToewsJamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, a rare one from Trevor van Riemsdyk proved to be the difference.
Van Riemsdyk put in a rebound for his second goal of the season with 4:03 left, lifting Chicago over the Dallas Stars 5-3 on Saturday night. Goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped a close-range shot by Artem Anisimov, but van Riemsdyk followed to put the puck under Lehtonen and make it 4-3.
The 25-year-old van Riemsdyk has five goals in 130 career games. Rookie Gustav Forsling also scored his second of the season for the Blackhawks, who are in second place behind Minnesota in the Central Division.
"We're going to need everybody," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "Talk about everybody or anybody, not just worried about the young guys. We need everyone to be progressing at a good rate here. Our last two games, there were a lot of good things."
Van Riemsdyk's older brother, James, also had a late game-winning goal on Saturday, helping the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 6-5.
Toews added an empty-net goal in the final second for his 10th of the season. Kane tied the game with his 17th goal just 35 seconds after Seguin put the Stars ahead 3-2 at 9:24.
Kane beat defenseman John Klingberg, skated across the goal mouth and put the puck into the right side of the net.
"We're behind and all of a sudden Kane makes an extremely amazing play with quickness and beats (Lehtonen) with a nice move and we're back in the game," Quenneville said. "Another nice finish on the winner and we'll take it. We came back in a situation where lately our thirds haven't been great."
Dallas is 0-18-2 when trailing after two periods.
"When we took the lead, I would want (the Blackhawks) to earn it," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "They didn't earn it.
"The numbers don't describe the real bad plays and the numbers don't mean anything if you make a play you don't need to make. We know Kane's on the ice. John struggled on that play."
Benn tied it 40 seconds into the third, and Radek Faksa also scored for Dallas. Lehtonen made 31 saves.
Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots for Chicago, and the Blackhawks are 4-0 against Dallas this season. Ryan Hartman (12th) and Forsling scored in the second period for the Blackhawks.
To start the second, Faksa chased down the puck low in the left faceoff circle and sent a shot from a sharp angle behind Crawford eight seconds in.
Hartman took a pass from Tanner Kero on the edge of the left circle and beat Lehtonen at 6:34.
With the score tied, Lehtonen stopped a breakaway by Kane at 8:08. Just 26 seconds later, Forsling fired a shot from the blue line through the slot and over a screen by Marcus Kruger, who ducked as the puck passed him.
Benn's goal was on a backhand from the left of the net.
NOTES: Faksa's goal was the fastest in the second period in Dallas' 23 seasons. The previous fastest was 13 seconds. The fastest in any period was by Joe Nieuwendyk seven seconds into a game at Detroit on Nov. 13, 1998. ... The Blackhawks had lost three of four games before Saturday. ... Dallas finished a season-high six-game homestand 2-2-2. ... Anisimov has gone 13 games without a goal. He and Marian Hossa each had two assists. Hossa has 41 points (21 goals, 20 assists) in 45 career games vs. Dallas.
Blackhawks: Play their fourth of six straight on the road when they visit Central Division leader Minnesota on Wednesday.
Stars: Will travel to Toronto for the first leg of a two-game Canadian road trip Tuesday.

Mrazek, Green lead Red Wings past Predators 1-0

 Petr Mrazek was ready for everything the Nashville Predators threw at him Saturday night - and they had plenty to offer.
Mrazek made 42 saves, Mike Green scored in the first period and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Predators 1-0 on Saturday night.
"I thought right from the onset, I looked at Petr and thought, `That's the Petr I know,'" Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "When he's got tons of confidence, he looks big in the net. I thought he was excellent tonight right from the get-go."
Pekka Rinne made 18 saves for Nashville, which has lost two of three.
"A lot of quality looks tonight and a lot of good chances for us," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "We have to give their goalie some credit, he played well. We had a lot of looks and opportunities. I thought both of the goalies played well. Pekka played well, too."
Mrazek is 5-0-0 in his career against Nashville. He made nine saves in the first, 16 in the second and 17 in the third to record his first shutout of the season and 10th of his career. He has been the goaltender of record in both of Detroit's wins over the Predators this season. The first came in Detroit on Oct. 21, when several Predators could not finish the game due to a bout of food poisoning.
Late in the third, Mrazek stopped five Nashville shots in the span of 1:10. His best save of the sequence came on Roman Josi's slap shot from the point with Colin Wilson parked just outside of Mrazek's crease with 2:02 remaining.
Green scored with 1:30 left in the opening period. From below the goal line to the left of the Nashville net, Henrik Zetterberg sent a pass to Green in the high slot, and he beat Rinne from there with a wrist shot high to the glove side.
Zetterberg, along with linemates Gustav Nyquist and Anthony Mantha, cycled the puck in the Nashville zone prior to Green's goal.
"Z did a good job of just spotting it to an area," Green said. "But it started with all three of them putting pressure on the D men and turning pucks over and it causes confusion and we get opportunities."
Zetterberg extended his points streak to three games. He has five points over those three games.
Green's goal came less than two minutes after Nashville's Viktor Arvidsson hit the crossbar with a backhand from 12 feet away from the Detroit net.
Notes: Josi returned to the lineup after missing nine games with an upper-body injury. ... Earlier Saturday, the Predators acquired C Vernon Fiddler from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft. Fiddler played 305 games with the Predators between 2002 and 2009. ... Detroit assigned G Jimmy Howard to Grand Rapids of the AHL on a conditioning assignment. Howard has been sidelined since late December with a knee injury.
Red Wings: Host Columbus on Tuesday night.
Predators: Host Vancouver on Tuesday night.

Crosby, Fleury lead Penguins to 4-1 win over Blues

After going four consecutive games without a goal, Sidney Crosby came up big against the St. Louis Blues.
Crosby scored twice and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Blues 4-1 Saturday night.
"He's been fantastic for us," defenseman Ian Cole said. "He's a world class player, the best player in the world. This year for us he's been our heartbeat. He's been the guy that kind of paces us all year and he showed tonight how great he can be."
Kris Letang and Justin Schultz also scored for the Penguins who are 20-2-2 when Crosby scores a goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury, making his first appearance since Jan. 14, stopped 22 shots to earn his first victory since winning five straight from Dec. 23 through Jan. 8.
"It's so satisfying at the end when you get to play and you get to be on the ice with teammates and battle throughout and a get a win," said Fleury. "That's always a good feeling."
Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis, which handed new coach Mike Yeo his first loss following a win in his debut on Thursday after replacing the fired Ken Hitchcock.
"I know it's been a long emotional week for everybody," Yeo said. "We had a good game (on Thursday) and obviously this was not a good game. What I've said all along is we need to continue to build our game and that has to be our focus. We'll take out of this what we didn't do well and push forward."
Jake Allen made 27 saves while falling to 18-14-3. He has not won back-to-back games since winning four straight from Nov. 26 through Dec. 6.
Crosby snapped his scoring drought with 4:10 left in the first period on his first-ever goal in St. Louis.
The Blues had a two-man advantage for 1:20 when Letang took a minor penalty for tripping with 35 seconds remaining in the second period with Cole already in the penalty box for interference. However, they were only able to muster one shot on goal.
Letang answered by scoring his fifth of the season immediately after exiting the penalty box. Carter Rowney assisted on the goal for his first career point in his third NHL game.
"That's a big momentum swing for our team," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "It gives our bench a huge boost when our guys go out there and they kill that off the way they did. For me it was a big part of the game."
Schultz added his ninth goal of the season when he buried a pass from Crosby later in the second period.
Crosby capped off his night with an empty-net goal to add to his NHL lead and give him 30 on the season. He now has six multi-goal games this season.
Berglund scored his 12th midway through the third to deny Fleury his first shutout against the Blues. St. Louis has not won three straight at home since Nov. 26 through Dec. 1.
"It's something we've got to build and start feeling good in here," said Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz. "We talked about that. We know it's not going to turn around right away."
NOTES: Pittsburgh is now 21-0-0 when leading after two periods. ... Crosby has not gone without a point in consecutive games since Feb. 24-27, 2016. ... Blues LW Robby Fabbri left the game with a lower-body injury 8:42 into the first period and did not return.
Penguins: Host Calgary on Tuesday night.
Blues: At Philadelphia on Monday night to start a four-game road trip.

Hall scores twice as Devils beat Blue Jackets 5-1

If only the Devils could replicate this level of play in New Jersey, their playoff aspirations might not seem so bleak.
Taylor Hall scored twice, Travis Zajac had a goal and an assist and the Devils beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 on Saturday night for their sixth straight road victory. The win came after an overtime loss to Calgary at home on Friday night.
New Jersey is 7-0-1 on the road since the beginning of the year and has outscored opponents 21-10 in the last six road games. At home, the Devils are a dismal 1-5-2 in 2017.
"There's no real answer to why," New Jersey coach John Hynes said. "We've had some real good success on the road. I think we play a real good team game on the road. We just need to follow up with the intensity level and the commitment level we've played with on the road. We've got to bring that home."
The Devils got a terrific game from goaltender Cory Schneider. He had 31 saves, including a dozen in the third period when Columbus finally dialed up the intensity.
Jacob Josefson and Seth Helgeson also scored for New Jersey.
"We played the right way," Zajac said. "Our attention to detail was good. We played a simple game, but it was effective because of the hardness we played with."
The Blue Jackets dropped the second game of a back-to-back after losing to Pittsburgh in overtime on Friday night. They are 6-8-1 since their franchise record 16-game winning streak and were out of sync for the first two periods Saturday.
Matt Calvert finally scored for the Blue Jackets in the third period, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots.
"We certainly didn't have enough guys going," Columbus coach John Tortorella said.
As opposed to the Devils' first line of Hall, Zajac and Kyle Palmieri. They did much of the damage, with Palmieri getting an assist on Hall's first goal.
Hall scored 3:29 into the game when he slipped a backhand attempt past Bobrovsky on a rush after taking a nice drop pass from Zajac. Columbus defender Zach Werenski had dropped his stick at the center line and tried to get in Hall's way but couldn't prevent the goal, which was the 12th of the season for the wing.
The Blue Jackets bumbled through a pair of power plays in the first period, their first in three games since before the All-Star break.
"They've got the best power play in the league, so it could have been a different story early," Schneider said. "But our penalty killers came up huge."
The Devils went up 2-1 at 1:49 into the second. Josefson got his first goal of the season when he redirected Andy Greene's wrist shot into the net. Zajac got a power-play goal with 1:02 left when he tapped in a rebound off Bobrovsky's pads.
The Blue Jackets got a short-handed goal with 8:25 left in the game. Calvert got a slick pass from William Karlsson from the back wall and drilled it in from the slot.
New Jersey got an empty-net goal from Hall nine seconds after the Blue Jackets pulled their goalie with 3:12 left. Bobrovsky came back into the game only to be scored on by Helgeson with 29 seconds remaining.
NOTES: A Columbus goal early in the third period was waived off because of goalie interference. ... Columbus W Josh Anderson was scratched because of illness. ... D Markus Nutivaara was back in the lineup for the Blue Jackets after missing eight games with an unspecified injury, while D David Savard missed his third straight game with a bad back. ... New Jersey is 7-0-1 in its eight road games since the start of the year. ... The Columbus Dispatch reported that the Blue Jackets' TV ratings are up 110 percent from last season at this time. ... Columbus plays seven of its next eight games at Nationwide Arena.
New Jersey: Plays Buffalo at home on Monday.
Columbus: Plays at Detroit on Tuesday.

Hainsey's OT goal lifts Hurricanes past Islanders, 5-4

Ron Hainsey knows the Carolina Hurricanes need to make up ground quickly to reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
That's why he was more focused on the importance of their latest win than getting his first two-goal game since Dec. 2, 2008.
"We need all the points we can get," Hainsey said after his second goal of the game at 2:08 of overtime lifted the Hurricanes to a 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
Hainsey hammered a feed from Justin Faulk from the slot after Jordan Staal won an offensive zone faceoff from John Tavares, who broke his stick on the play.
"We need them all. That's kind of the bottom line. We had an opportunity before the (All-Star) break with five games to get ourselves into a good spot (and) we got zero points out of 10," Hainsey said.
Carolina pulled four points behind Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot. The Islanders, who also lost 5-4 at Detroit on Friday night, are one point behind the Hurricanes.
Jacob Slavin, Lee Stempniak and Teuvo Teravainen also scored to help Carolina win its third straight after the All-Star Break. Cam Ward made 33 saves.
"It's a huge win for us," Stempniak said. "It's a huge two points for us."
Anders LeeCasey CizikasBrock Nelson and Josh Bailey scored for the Islanders, who are 6-1-2 in their last nine games. Jean-Francois Berube gave up all five Hurricanes goals on 25 shots.
"It was a tough game for me," said Berube, who acknowledged he struggled reading and reacting to plays. "I just wasn't sharp."
Bailey scored the game's only power-play goal, slamming a slap shot from the slot after an offensive zone faceoff 8:33 into the third to tie the score 4-4.
"We fought," Islanders interim coach Doug Weight said. "But (it's) disappointing to come out of the two games (this weekend) with one point."
The Hurricanes went 0 for 3 on the power play while the Islanders were 1 for 4.
Cizikas put the Islanders ahead 2-1 with a diving deflection of Ryan Strome's cross-ice pass at 2:36 of the second.
Hainsey tied it 21 seconds later and Stempniak gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead with his 10th at 4:37.
The Islanders then pressured Carolina for a wide stretch of the period, and it paid off when Nelson whipped his 11th of the season past Ward with a minute left in the middle period to tie it again.
The tie lasted for all of 58 seconds, as Berube could not control the rebound of Brock McGinn's shot and Teravainen's quick shot from the slot sent the Hurricanes into the second intermission with a 4-3 advantage.
"That's the way you've got to answer back," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "The Teravainen goal with the clock winding down in the second becomes a huge goal."
The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead on Slavin's left circle slap shot at 9:53, only to see the Islanders tie it on Lee's tip of Dennis Seidenberg shot at 11:14.
"It's going to happen," Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk said. "We did give up some goals that were uncharacteristic of our team."
NOTES: New York honored LW Jason Chimera with an on-ice ceremony before the opening faceoff for playing 1,000 NHL games. Owner Jon Ledecky presented Chimera with a silver stick, while C John Tavares and LW Andrew Ladd gave Chimera a framed collage and a framed jersey. ... During his pregame media briefing, Weight said Cal Clutterbuck suffered a lower body injury in Friday night's loss at Detroit and would be replaced in the lineup by Shane Prince. ... New York also scratched D Scott Mayfield and RW Stephen Gionta. ... Carolina scratched D Ryan Murphy, D Matt Tennyson and RW Ty Rattie. ... The NHL selected February for its Hockey Is For Everyone initiative. As part of the monthlong proposal the Islanders hosted You Can Play Night. According to its website, the You Can Play Project aims "to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in sports-including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans." ... The announced attendance at Barclays Center was 14,153.
Hurricanes: At Washington on Tuesday night.
Islanders: Host Toronto on Monday night.